Algae tested as salmon feed at Norway’s biggest oil refinery

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Raw feed ingredients from algae in Norway is being tested as a feed for salmon smolt.

CO2Bio operates an all-terrain facility at the the biggest oil refinery in the country, Mongstad in western Norway. The objective of the company is to develop sustainable, bio-based omega-3 production based on the use of CO2 and algae.

Algae is stored in CO2 from the Technology Center Mongstad (TCM), is the world’s largest facility for testing and improving CO2 capture.

The facility, which was opened in 2016, is owned by Nordhordland Næringslag, Bergen Technology Transfer and Uni Research. In addition, it is supported by major players such as Cargill, Salmon Group, Lerøy, Grieg Seafood and Marine Harvest.

Every week, algae is harvested, centrifuged to get rid of water, then sent to Nofima in Bergen, to be used as a component in feed pellets.

“The first point to make is that the fish like the food and eat it, and we have succeeded in that. The next test is to get the omega-3 rich algae to make the fish rich in these fatty acids, and we are waiting for results from analyses to be done now in October, said the CEO of CO2Bio Svein M. Nordvik to Vestnytt.

If the company manage to bring fatty omega-3 acids from algae into salmon, the plan is to transition from pilot plants to industrial production.

“Now we are a phase where we are collecting data to assess industrial production, which means a plant that is much larger than the algae pilot. Some of what we are looking at is how to utilise the area as best as possible, and how close we can put up the pipes where the algea is,” said Nordvik.

According to Nordvik, algae are also tested in connection with the farming of wrasse farms at Marine Harvest near Bergen. Ballan wrasse like it dark at the start of its life, and algae is used to make the water turbid. When that its done, it gets darker.

“This use of algae is a good example of something that we can develop as we go along, and more needs can be discovered by using algae,” concluded Nordvik.